FLORENCE — Hamilton scored 14 points before Florence’s offense even took the field and the Bulldogs went on to beat the Buffaloes 75-27 on Friday in a battle for District 8-3A, Div. II’s final playoff spot.
Both teams came into the game with 0-3 records in league play. Florence was trying to extend its postseason streak to three seasons, but instead Hamilton earned its first playoff appearance since 2011.
Hamilton was too much to handle in the season finale, tallying 598 yards of total offense.
The Bulldogs jumped out quickly and scored in just over a minute. After recovering an onside kick at the 50, they struck again on the next play. In less than two minutes, Hamilton was winning 14-0 before Florence even had the ball.
About halfway through the first quarter, Christian Broekhuizen recovered a fumble for the Buffaloes at the Hamilton 33. The Buffaloes capitalized, with Jakobi Lewis scoring a 24-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 14-7.
Hamilton (5-5, 1-3) controlled the rest of the first half and added two more touchdowns to take a 28-7 lead into the locker room.
The second half was action-packed with 67 combined points. Florence got two touchdown passes from Kelby Vaughan to Jacob Trussell. The touchdown passes were from 65 and 60 yards, respectively. Lewis added his second touchdown, a 3-yard run.
Hamilton scored two defensive touchdowns in the second half, one a 20-yard fumble recovery by Ian Nath, and the other an 85-yard interception return by Houston Tucker.
Offensively, the Bulldogs scored five rushing touchdowns. Nath scored three: from 35, 78 and 73 yards. respectively. Austin Sherman added the other two from 17 and 28 yards.
Offensively for the Buffaloes, Vaughan was 9-of-19 for 184 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Trussell had three catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Lewis pounded it out on the ground with 17 rushes for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Brendan Woljevach added 75 yards on 12 rushes.
Vaughan and Aric Grimm each grabbed an interception.
Florence finished the season 2-8 (0-4).